Monday, February 23, 2009

Frugality

Our family tries to shop as frugally as we can, but purchasing the cottage & traveling to-and fro between homes has made this an even bigger necessity. Convenience foods can seem "cheap and easy" at the time, but what a deception! Lacking in nutrition and sustenance, too often we're left hungry and out of $10+ (which could've been spent on "staple" ingredients for homemade (tastier) snacks.
Here's what I try to do:
*Freeze breadstick and pizza dough
*Make pancakes the night before, then freeze it for the week (heh, more like 2-3 days--we love pancakes)
*Keep baby carrots in a tupperware container to easily bring along in the car
*Bake cookies--they keep well (if they're not instantly eaten:) and its worth it to triple the recipe!
*No more boxed cereal (if we can help it) Honestly, paying $3 a box really adds up, especially in families with children! Having cereal for breakfast, plus as a quick snack=the FREQUENT question," Where is the cereal? Where'd it go?!?" LOL

Lately, I've been assigned to the job of monitoring the grocery budget, and making sure we get "the basics". Well its been great, but we're looking forward to eating from our garden this summer--grocer prices are slowly rising! But luckily at Publix I found (hidden) savings! Canned goods are for our "emergency pantry".

4 cans of northern beans $0.40 each
1 can of organic beans & rice $0.50
McCormick seasoning $0.99
Large package of pork chops $9.99
Total savings $15
~ (above photo: washing my dresses by hand)

Clothes

The thing is, I've been trying to minimise buying clothes and accessories. My personal goal of non-accumulation is to give away most of the things that I'm not using--which is hard!!
My favorite online resource on clothing is How to dress like a pioneer woman. Its amazing to think that the average 19th century woman had only 2 dresses as her entire wardrobe, wearing aprons to keep the dresses clean, and one pair of long-lasting boots :) Although this isn't practical for many of us, I think its resourceful, challenging, and inspiring.

I still have so much to learn, but I wanted to share with you what I'm learning on the importace of frugality~


"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?" Matthew 6:25

Friday, February 20, 2009

Broccoli Salad


Now is the time for leafy, green, winter vegetables! We've harvested our broccoli, and in my search for broccoli salad, I couldn't find one I liked 'entirely'. So I created my own recipe!


1 bunch of fresh broccoli.
Rinsed and broken into bite sized pieces (6 cups)
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1 Small onion, minced
(1/2 cup)
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Sliced Almonds (1/4 cup)
I don't even like almonds! :) But it adds the perfect "nutty" flavor
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1/2 cup raisins (for sweetness)
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6 slices of crispy bacon, chopped or crumbled :)
(1/2 cup)
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In a separate bowl, combine:
1/2 cup mayo
2 TBsp yogurt (plain or vanilla) {this adds lightness}
1/4 cup sugar
1 TBsp red wine vinegar
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Add the dressing to the salad...
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Lastly, add 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
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Enjoy!!!
This was the "hit" at the dinner table last night. I served it alongside fried porkchops, and my Dad said he was enjoying the salad more than the porkchops!
.......hey, it took me an hour to cook that meat!
lol....no offense taken :)
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Anyway, next time I'll double the recipe!
This makes 6 servings

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Question: What is the Cottage?

I recently received the question:
"Out of curiosity... What is the Cottage? Is it a vacation home of yours and your family's or is it one of those sheds or something that looks like a mini house?" *Miss Jessica
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I really appreciate this question because it has just occurred to me that I've never explained this :) We discovered this fixer-upper cottage while "house hunting" and were able to purchase it before our "suburbia" home has sold! The Cottage is a small, 3 bedroom home built in 1940, and the property includes a storage building(mini house)/shed/chicken houses. God is so good, and now while our home is on the 'market', we go back and forth to the cottage until it's fixed up enough to move in completely :)
*Mia

Sunday, February 15, 2009

SecondHand Treasures: Quilt n' Hats

We're back in suburbia for the day! But before we head back to the cottage, I wanted to show you a few treasures I purchased in January before I forget!

A handmade quilt $5
I was really afraid the cashier would try to raise the price, but she didn't! Its ripped and lightly stained, but I'm looking forward to mending :)


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2 pillowcases $2.80
I found these at Goodwill and thought they were beautiful
(although they don't quite match the quilt)
...I'll figure something out :)

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Vintage 19th century bonnet $20
I was looking for a bonnet online, and found this antique gingham bonnet for sale on Ebay. It was on sale for $20, and I was going to buy it, but the next day, the seller doubled the price!
I wrote to her, expressing my desire to purchase it (for $20 not $50!) And to my surprise,
a few hours later she returned it to its original sale price, so I quickly bought it!!
I was so excited--this bonnet is worn and stained, but its FROM the 1800's. Love it! :)

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Vintage Straw Hat $2.50
I bought this vintage style hat from Goodwill along with my 2 other wide-brimmed hats (seen in other posts). It's like a straw bonnet--I love it, although straw hats do tend to snag your strands!
I haven't worn it out in public yet, but this is the hat I wanted to wear to the conference :)
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Happy belated Valentines Day!

Roses from my garden last year

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

At the cottage


A naturally dried blossom with pinecone


Finding trash in the wellhouse...


Cleaning from underneath storage building (it was once a small dwelling place)


I found this torn piece of a letter while cleaning...it reads, "Please accept my apology for not writing you before now"





At the conference, I was inspired to invest more time with my brother. Instead of telling him what to do, be interested in what he's interested in. Build him up with encouragement!!!
So I volunteered to help him with his fort!

I actually got into it! I brought up the idea of a "thatch" roof using pinestraw, and as we all worked together, he grew even more proud of it!
"An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up." Proverbs 12:25
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"Can we keep her!!??! please?"
We found this kitten near our doorstep, and she's soooooo sweet!
She's 200% affection -- how can we resist?
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A patch of sunshine...
Finding beauty in the ordinary

Trying my hand at a manual plow...heh, I'll take the lawn mower
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Primitive Pancakes
I always use my never-fail recipe notebook for everything, but I didn't bring it to the cottage, so I had to make pancakes by intuition using a plastic cup and a large spoon for measurement tools...
Pioneer Pancakes (lol)
In a large bowl, dump in:
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup sugar
They turned out edible and delicious (to my surprise!)
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My parents watching the evening view


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Conference

Searching the Word...
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Historic Building
Beautiful weather


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Femina


Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12
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Blogger meet-up!
What a blessing to meet other fellow bloggers! I'm sure you'll recognise..
~Kindred spirits from South Carolina with myself and my sister
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Anna and Elisabeth Botkin answering a few questions
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Notes~

My thoughts:
*I was SOOO encouraged by all the large families who attended!
*All the women were dressed in modest skirts or dresses--yes!!!
*I was challenged to not take lightly my role, duty and influence as sister and daughter
*We didn't agree with everything, but we searched the scriptures to see what God had to say on different subjects
*I was so proud of homeschoolers--ALL the children sat quietly with their parents through lectures from 9am-9pm!
*I should've worn my hat!!
*I was overwhelmed with excitement to be able to meet other bloggers (and their families!) It was funny to already know so much about someone before you meet 'em :)
*The conference was national--Some came from Pennsylvania, Washington state, NYC, Virginia, and of course, us southerners ;P
*Columbus, GA is a beautiful, historic town. Hopefully we can visit again! (C'mon, those antique shops were calling my name! :)